Locally Made Video Game Helps Adults Read

By NewsRadio 1080 KRLD

DALLAS (KRLD) - An app developed by a local group of experts from SMU and Literacy Instruction For Texas (LIFT) is helping eliminate adult illiteracy. Codex: The Lost Words of Atlantis, is an adventure game where players travel around the world, trying to uncover the secrets of Atlantis by decoding its ancient language "Atlantean" into English.

"20% of Dallas residents are below a third-grade reading level," says Dr. Corey Clark, an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at SMU. "If we could have an impact on that kind of number...it would tremendously change people's lives."

And it is working. The app, which is available to download on Android phones, takes the stigma away from adult illiteracy.

"As you are trying to decode (Atlantean), it's actually starting to teach you letter sounds and word combinations," says Dr. Clark.

The group has won a total of $2.5 million in the Barbara Bush Foundation Adult Literacy XPRIZE competition. It split the $3 million grand prize with another game, and got a $1 million bonus for having the largest gains in literacy among English learners.

They'll use the money to continue to develop more levels of the game to take the literacy level further. They would also like to get onto more platforms like iOS and personal computers.

To download the app on an Android phone, go to the Google Play Store and search "Codex: The Lost Words of Atlantis."​